Essay about Analysis Of George Orwell 's ' A Hanging '

802 Words Sep 25th, 2015 4 Pages
George Orwell wrote a short essay called "A Hanging" in 1931. It was published in the
British literary magazine "The Adelphi". Set in Burma, it describes the execution of a criminal by the British Imperial Police. Orwell served in the British Imperial Police from 1922 to 1927.
Many believe that the story may be a description of an actual execution that Orwell witnessed.
However, there is no concrete evidence that he did, in fact, view an actual hanging. Throughout his works, Orwell explores the relationships between people and their governments. In "A Hanging", he looks at the issue of capital punishment and whether it is right to take the life of a human being. Orwell 's use of imagery creates a feeling of sympathy toward the prisoner and shows his disapproval of capital punishment.
In the first paragraph, Orwell describes the setting of the prison. "A sickly light" slanting over the walls. His word choice causes the reader to feel like the prisoners are sick and poorly treated. He says the cells were "like small animal cages.", and "brown silent men were squatting at the inner bars." The words "animal cages", and "squatting", make the reader picture the prisoners being treated like animals, with poor living conditions. Though he does not explicitly state it, he certainly implies that these conditions are not suitable for human beings.
Orwell describes the prisoner due to be hanged as "a puny wisp of a man", furthering the image that the prisoners are treated poorly…

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